Looking for a monitor that’s a cut above the 4K norm? The new MSI Prestige PS341WU could be the panel for you. Its main claim to fame? The huge 5K2K native resolution from a luscious 34-inch IPS screen.
That’s 5,120 by 2,160 pixels and fully three million more than a standard 4K or UHD monitor. Packed into a 34-inch 21:9 ultrawide display, the upshot is a pixel density of 163DPI. For reference, the likes of a 38-inch ultrawide with 3,840 by 1,600 pixels, such as the Asus Designo Curve MX38VC, works out to just 109DPI.
Admittedly, the MSI Prestige PS341WU still comes up short compared to, say, Apple Retina displays for its Mac computers, which generally clock in above 200DPI. But compared to the vast majority of PC monitors, this is a high DPI display.
Of course, you’ll pay for that privilege. You’re looking at around $1,210 (£929, around AU$1,800) to get in on that 5K2K action.
However, the MSI Prestige PS341WU isn’t just about pixel counts. It sports a Nano IPS panel from master LCD maker LG. The upshot is high fidelity image quality. MSI claims 98% coverage of the demanding DCI-P3 color gamut, plus 100 per cent coverage of sRGB.
Both are available as presets in the comprehensive OSD, along with Adobe RGB. It’s also good for 1,200:1 static contrast, which is a cut above the IPS norm.
Adding further to its content creation capabilities, not to mention all-round image quality prowess, is HDR support. The MSI Prestige PS341WU comes with VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification. It achieves that with fairly rudimentary 12-zone local dimming and typical brightness of 450cd/m2 (peak brightness is 600cd/m2).
So this arguably isn’t a true HDR display. But it will process an HDR signal and display the correct colors with HDR content, which is very useful from a content creation perspective.
Rounding out the feature set, the MSI Prestige PS341WU offers comprehensive connectivity, including HDMI, DisplayPort and USB Type-C with charging. We can confirm it is possible to drive the MSI Prestige PS341WU at the full 5,120 by 2,160 resolution at 60Hz over the USB-C connection.
You will, of course, need a PC or laptop that supports DisplayPort 1.4 over USB-C alternate mode to achieve that. Note that the HDMI interface is limited to 3,840 by 2,160 at 60Hz.
As for the MSI Prestige PS341WU’s actual image quality, it’s superb. The colors absolutely pop, the contrast is fantastic, the viewing angles are about as good as they get. This is one glorious looking panel straight out of the box at default settings.
If you’re looking for downsides, well, they mostly involve build quality and the subjectives of style.
The chassis feels cheap and plasticky, while the white aesthetic, including details like the MSI badge on the rear of the enclosure, is dubious. Overall, the style MSI Prestige PS341WU feels like a confused combination of gaming and professional cues.
It doesn’t detract from the panel quality. But at this price point, you have every right to expect quality and consistency in every department.
Buy it if...
You want more pixels than a conventional 4K or UHD monitor
The MSI Prestige PS341WU packs 5,20 by 2,160 pixels. That’s three million more than a 4K monitor and it makes for both much increased screen real estate, plus better pixel density and therefore image detail and sharpness than most other PC monitors.
You need color accuracy for content creation
MSI says the Prestige PS341WU’s lovely IPS panel is good for 100% of the sRGB gamut and 98% of DCI-P3, so it’s a solid choice for color-critical content creation. Vesa DisplayHDR 600 certification means HDR content creation is also on the menu.
You want single-cable connectivity
Thanks to USB Type-C connectivity with charging support, you can hook up a laptop to the MSI Prestige PS341WU via a single cable to do everything from drive the display, charge your laptop and connect peripherals.
Don't buy it if...
You’re expecting full-on HDR visuals
The MSI Prestige PS341WU does have Vesa DisplayHDR 600 certification. But with a typical brightness of 450cd/m2 and with only the most basic 12-zone local dimming, you’re not getting a full-on HDR experience, more the capability to process HDR content.
You demand all-round quality and consistency
While we have no beef with the MSI Prestige PS341WU’s panel and image quality, its chassis quality is patchy thanks to the use of cheap feeling plastics. More subjectively, the styling is also hit and miss and arguably strays too much into gamer territory.
You’re a hair-trigger gamer
For starters, the MSI Prestige PS341WU only runs at 60Hz. But even if it theoretically supported a higher refresh, good luck driving its 11 million pixels at really high frame rates, even using Nvidia’s latest and greatest graphics cards.
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